Patricia Rae might have found her perfect niche working as a successful character actor with roles running the whole gamut of film genres, but the road to Hollywood hasn’t always been an easy one. If there’s one actor who has definitely paid her dues, Rae, hands-down, is the one.
From the critically acclaimed, Oscar nominated feature film “Maria Full of Grace” to now the highly anticipated comedy “The Big Wedding”, Rae brings smile and a ray of sunshine continuously beaming straight onto the big screen and into our hearts- one movie and one role at a time.
In an industry based on fabricated reality and make-believe, Patricia Rae is the real deal! She worked persistently for well over two decades, fervently knocking doors and dedicating herself completely to her craft before seeing fruits in her acting career. This native New Yorker of Colombian descent lived much of her professional life on the East Coast where she worked in theatre, commercials, sketch comedy, independent film and TV. Rae was raised in Queens by her grandmother who ran a boarding house while her mother was at work. With her mom remarrying andsporadically relocating, Patricia quickly developed a sense of displacement which ultimately got her drawn to the art of acting for its premise relies on the ability to embrace different personalities and be transported into different locations.
And so Patricia’s journey into the acting world began in elementary school when while in fourth grade, the drama teacher spotted her and requested her to be in “Oliver Twist”. She then moved to Florida in her teens where she resumed her scholastic activities.Although performing poorly on an academic level, Patricia, with the support of the Drama club, was able to find a successful and comfortable niche in acting. Finding her true calling, she earned a series of awards in regional and state wide competitions with her drama troupe.
A brief semester spent in a small college in St Augustine Florida, provided Patricia with an enlightening revelation: “Why waste money on getting an acting degree when you could study the curriculum in New York? Off she went to the prestigious Lee Strasberg Institute where she learned the painful technique of reliving past childhood experiences. Armed with a “thin” resume, Patricia struck gold with her first professional job securing a co-starring role opposite Don Johnson in the hit TV series “Miami Vice”.
Sent on the set as an extra, her inquisitive mind brought her to find out that a few supporting roles were yet to be cast. The casting crew was on the set asking actors to audition before the director. When no one approached her, Patricia took matters into her own hands and demanded to give it a try. She got the part and received her SAG card all in one day. After years spent in New York, she then decided it was time for a change. So she took the leap and moved her family from New York to Los Angeles in search of that “breakthrough” role. Ironically, landing that role of a lifetime in “Maria Full of Grace” playing the memorable Carla sent her back to the Big Apple.
Much as been said about the performances in the movie; but it was Rae’s interpretation of Carla, a pregnant Colombian woman living in a tiny apartment in New York with her family, that stuck in people’s minds. Her spectacularly phenomenal performance earned her a litany of accolades and a prestigious Imagen Awards nomination for “Best Supporting Role.” But we wouldn’t expect any less from Rae – a bigger than life character who proves that acting, beyond being a business, is most importantly an art.
With an impressively prolific IMDB resume, this working seasoned actress was seen on the big screen in features films such as Swimfan, Nightstalker and the award-winning Maria Full of Grace. On the small screen, she also recently appeared on several hit television series including “Chuck”, “The Mentalist”, “The Closer”, “Life” and “The Chicago Code”.
Now the talented actress I readying for another big role – and BIG, it certainly is! Rae was just cast to co-star in the comedy film “The Big Wedding”, portraying “Madonna Sotto”, the biological Ecuadorian mother of Alejandro Griffin played by British actor Ben Barnes. She joins one of Hollywood’s most prestigious cast including Robert De Niro, Diane Keaton, Susan Sarandon, Katherine Heigl, Amanda Seyfried, Topher Grace, Ben Barnes and Robin Williams.
Worth noting is the behind the scenes story about how Rae landed that pivotal part. It goes without saying, of course, that this Latina spitfire secured the job the unconventional way – yet it was nevertheless all based on the merit of her immense talent and that one Full of Grace role that has unforgettably, visually carved itself a place in cinematic history for delivering one of the film’s most famously memorable scene.
Patricia was scheduled to read for Justin Zackham (director) and Clay Pecorin (producer) in LA, but as circumstance would have it, she was in NY for her daughter’s graduation. The director had expressed great interest in her having seen her “Maria Full of Grace” performance. Hence upon her manager’s insistence to casting, a message was relayed to Justin, proposing a meeting on the East coast since the director was scheduled to fly back to the Big Apple within the next few days after having seen an incalculable amount of actresses in LA. Justin enthusiastically agreed and a special session was set in the NY office to see Patricia Rae. Some things are just destined to be. This was one of them for the talented actress who booked the gig on the spot!
De Niro and Keaton play a divorced couple who, for the sake of their adopted son (Ben Barnes)’s wedding and his believed to be conservative biological Latin mother (Patricia Rae), pretend they are still married. Evidently, they quickly learn that acting the part isn’t as easy as they thought it would be.
Currently in Production the film, written and (to be) directed by Justin Zackham (“The Bucket List”), will commence shooting July 11 through August 20 in Connecticut. The feature film, set to hit theaters in 2012, is a co-production between Zackham’s Two Ton Films banner and Millennium Films.
Patricia Rae currently resides in Los Angeles. Rae is also an accredited Power Flow Yoga teacher and provides classes twice a week to students of all ages in Studio City, California. Patricia’s teaching approach is infused with laughter, compassion and an infectious enthusiasm for life. Her students often comment on how funny she is, to which she replies, “If yoga isn’t FUN– you’re doing something wrong!”
And indeed, Patricia Rae’s “make it happen” attitude has continuously proven to be one of her biggest assets. But then again, it is an easy motto to embrace when it is backed-up by such exceptional talent and impressive acting abilities.
Follow Patricia Rae on Twitter: @Bolognia